In the US, acne is the most common skin condition. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), there may be up to 50 million people (about twice the population of Texas) with acne at any given time.
Acne is a skin condition where your skin generates excess sebum clogging and infecting your pores (due to dead cells or bacteria). Hormonal acne develops when hormone fluctuations take place leading to changes in your skin chemistry and environment.
Hormonal acne is the result of hormonal changes which increase the amount of oil produced by your skin. This oil interacts with bacteria on your skin’s pores where hair grows (hair follicles), resulting in clogged pores and acne. Clogged pores are caused by:
- Sebum (the oily substance created from the sebaceous glands in the middle layer of your skin).
- Dead skin cells.
Causes of hormonal acne:
- Sleep deprivation.
- Using hair and skin care products that clog pores.
- Changing hormone levels in women (such as during your period, pregnancy, menopause, or after discontinuing birth control).
- Males undergoing testosterone therapy.
- Acne in the family (genetic predisposition).
- A medication’s side effect (steroids).
- Medical conditions (like PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), and metabolic conditions).
Some causes of hormonal acne are under your control like stress, lack of sleep, and products that you use on your skin and hair.
Symptoms of acne depend mostly on the type and severity of your condition. This is what Hormonal acne looks like:
- Whiteheads (closed plugged pores)
- Blackheads (open plugged pores)
- Small red, tender bumps (papules)
- Pimples (pustules), which are papules with pus
- Large, solid, painful lumps under the skin (nodules)
- Painful, pus-filled lumps under the skin (cystic acne)
Acne can appear anywhere on your body, but the most common locations are:
Acne can be treated based on the severity of your condition (You can treat your acne by using over-the-counter products or medicine prescribed by doctors).
Mild acne can be treated by antibacterial or benzoyl peroxide (a topical drug found in many over-the-counter products) skin cleansers.
Moderate or Severe acne can be treated by oral or topical antibiotics (like tetracycline, minocycline, erythromycin, and doxycycline). Antibiotics are prescribed for about 3 months to get the best results. Women’s acne sometimes doesn’t respond to antibiotics, so anti-androgen hormone therapy or birth control medication is recommended as an alternative.
What can you do?
There are some precautions that you can take to manage and treat acne naturally. They are:
- Wash your face with clean water and a mild cleanser twice a day, once in the morning and another in the evening.
- Do not touch or scrub the skin or burst the pimple, as it may lead to an infection in the pores causing more blocking, swelling, and redness.
- Avoid popping pimples, as they leave permanent scars.
- Avoid using harsh scrubs or exfoliators.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Wash your hands more frequently, especially before applying lotions, creams, or makeup.
- Avoid stress or anxiety as it increases the production of cortisol and adrenaline generating more acne.
- Keep yourself cool and dry in hot and humid climate and avoid sweating.
Acne is quite a common problem. It creates a huge embarrassment sometimes, but the good thing is that you can fix the symptoms permanently by knowing the cause of your acne.
At Doral Health & Wellness Our team of endocrinologists excels in diagnosing and treating endocrine imbalances, and diseases, enabling patients to lead a healthy life.
Have questions or need a second opinion?
Call us at 718-DORAL-500.